Busch, Harvick and Keselowski comment on championship race


By Matt Courson
November 19, 2017

HOMESTEAD, Fla.—Three drivers—Kyle Busch, Keivn Harvick and Brad Keselowski—were stripped from the chance to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.


All three drivers finished the Ford EcoBoost 400.


No. 18 KYLE BUSCH (-5 POINTS BACK)

Kyle Busch ran inside the top-five in each of the three stages and led for 43 laps.


However, a late race caution for brother Kurt Busch ended a strategy to retake the lead on fresh tires, with the hope that the event would remain free of cautions.


“Yeah, it wasn’t quite what we wanted there at the end,” Truex said. “I thought we had a really great race car, especially on the long runs we were really, really good.

“Just came down to there at the end not having enough tire when I got to the 78, so I just overused my stuff, and I knew I overused my stuff when I was running with the 22 trying to get by him and just overworked everything and got to the 4, got by him pretty quick.

“I tried to make sure that I could do that pretty quick so then I could have at least a little more tire life, but didn’t seem to pay me off any when I got to the 78.”


No. 4 KEVIN HARVICK (-7 POINTS BACK)

Kevin Harvick also ran inside the top four in each of the three stages, however, the driver of the No. 4 Ford for Tony Stewart was unable to lead a lap in the Ford EcoBoost 400.


“It was kind of up and down as far as where you were against the championship guys,” Harvick said.  


“There at the end, we just got a hole in the nose and had a tire equalize and all kinds of stuff happen right about dark, and we never got it back 100 percent right to really do what we needed to do, really at any point during the run.  


“We were just kind of treading water there. The last run really, really loose. They did a great job. Just really proud of everybody on my team, and they did a great job getting us to this point and having a chance, and gave it all we had right up until the end.  

“Some points were good, some points were bad, and in the end it just wasnt quite good enough.”


No. 2 BRAD KESELOWSKI (-10 POINTS BACK)

Brad Keselowski finished the event in seventh, which is his 21st top-10 in 2017.


The finish is also the lowest among all other playoff drivers.


The driver of the No. 2 for Roger Penske just couldn’t keep up with the Toyota’s of Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.


“Of course the result you want is to win the race, win the championship, but the effort was phenomenal, and I was really proud of our group for everything they put into that, trying to be the best with this package,” Keselowski said.  


“We weren’t quite best in class, but we ran up front. The 4, the 42, the 4 and the 24 were pretty good. My teammate was pretty good.  

“Felt like if we could have had a couple cracks at it, we could have ran fifth instead of seventh, but there wasn’t really any point in the race where we were capable of running with the 18 or the 78.  

“That was just kind of the way it was.”

IMAGES Jonny Olkowski/The Racing Experts SOURCES Racing-Reference.info

Which driver will finish highest in points next season?
No. 2 Brad Keselowski
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